Recent funding success
Happy to announce that our grant proposal titled “The Wetter the Better? Wet woodlands as a nature-based solution to climate change” was successfully funded by the Seale-Hayne Educational Trust. Stay tuned for more information about our study, based at the willow carr site at Slapton Ley FSC, Devon UK. This study is in collaboration with Dr. Paul Lunt (University of Plymouth) and Dr. Tom Roland at the University of Exeter and as a new project within the Wet Woodland Research Network.
This follows some other funding I have received from the Sustainable Earth Institute to develop low cost CO2 and CH4 flux sensors in collaboration with Dr. Paul Davey at the University of Plymouth.
In collaboration with Dr. Liam Heffernan (Uppsala University) and Dr Mike Peacock (SLU), our Anna and Gunnar Vidfelt Foundation for Biological research grant was successfully funded looking at the stability of peatlands under disturbance scenarios. This will be based at Store Mosse National Park, Sweden.
The Bog Squad: Answering your peatland questions
I am excited to be part of this project with the New York Times where the ‘Bog Squad’ is answering your peatland questions! https://www.nytimes.com/explain/2022/05/05/headway/peatlands-wetlands-bogs-swamps-fen
Using smartphones to help us track boreal peatland disturbances
Coastal wetlands as nature-based solutions for coastal adaptation
As part of the ACU British Council Commonwealth Future Climate Research Cohort I have been working on a Research 2 Action project looking at using nature-based solutions (NbS) for coastal adaptation. This involved doing a comparison between Scotland and Nigeria. A goal of this project was to communicate the concept of NbS to the general public and the perfect way to do this is an infographic. This was created in collaboration with Nuria Melisa Morales Garica, a fantastic graphic designer based in Bristol.
PhD opportunity: Beavers and climate change mitigation in freshwater systems
Here is the advert for a PhD opportunity looking at the impact of beavers on freshwater carbon cycling based at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hyrology in Edinburgh with Dr. Amy Pickard, Dr. Alan Law, Dr. Nigel Wilby and myself. The project will be working at a rewilding site near my hometown in rural Perthshire.
Please contact Dr. Amy Pickard firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any informal enquiries. The deadline for applying is January 7th 2022.
A real climate solution: Why wetlands should be a key topic of conversation at COP26
I recently wrote an article for the University of Plymouth about the importance of wetlands, their role as nature-based solutions in the fight against climate change and why they need to be a topic of conversation at COP26.
How seismic lines alter soil properties
Here is a fantastic infographic by Fuse Consulting Ltd. on the results of our paper Seismic line disturbance alters soil physical and chemical properties across boreal forest and peat soils (Davidson et al. 2020, Frontiers in Earth Science). This work was undertaken as part of the Boreal Ecosystem Recovery and Assessment (BERA) project.
Storytellers of STEMM podcast
Check out my episode of the ‘Storytellers of STEMM’ podcast hosted by Rachel Villani. I had a great time chatting about all things peat
Natural Climate Solutions for Canada
A study I am co-author on led by Nature United looking at 24 pathways for understanding the role of Natural Climate Solutions for Canada was published recently in Science Advances.
You can check out Nature United’s report here
Press release from University of Waterloo here
“The importance of international collaboration in tackling climate change” – PIE Blog
I wrote a blog post for Professionals in International Education blog (PIE Blog) about my work with the ACU British Council Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort and the importance of both international collaboration and wetlands in tackling climate change. You can read it here:
ACU British Council Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort 2021
Very excited to announce that I am one of the 26 early career researchers chosen to be part of the ACU British Council Commonwealth Future Climate Research Cohort. I will be working with a diverse set of researchers from 16 countries working towards COP26 in Glasgow.
I am super excited to be part of this initiative and look forward to highlighting the importance of peatlands as nature-based solutions to climate change on the global stage.
You can read more about the cohort here
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change (IC3) at the University of Waterloo highlighted it here
American Geophysical Union 2020 #AGU20
If you are attending #AGU20, you can check out my poster looking at using smartphones to understand the impacts of disturbances in boreal peatlands here
I also decided to #SketchYourScience my poster here:
Canada’s Peatlands: Towards a National Assessment
Here is a nice summary of the three workshops I co-organised in Autumn 2020 looking at bringing together a wide range of peatland researchers, scientists and policy makers to discuss the future of the Canada’s peatlands.
Sphagnum-inspired R colour palette
* Update *
Using this code from Paul Julian https://gist.github.com/SwampThingPaul/6085a3066910e4c86eefca27bac3874d
I was able to create this:
We all know that Sphagnum come in a beautiful array of colours so, inspired by Paul Julian (https://swampthingecology.org/) I decided to create a Sphagnum-palette for use in R (using the code found here: here)
Feel free to make your plots as mossy as possible now
Nature-based Climate Solutions Summit, Ottawa 2020
Back in February I was fortunate enough to be invited to sit on the Wetlands panel at the first ever Nature-based Climate Solutions Summit at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (situated on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinaabe territory). This event was attended by over 400 people from a range of backgrounds including academia, government, NGOs and indigenous groups. The goal of this summit was ‘to increase our collective knowledge of nature-based climate solutions and to help chart a path forward’.
The full report of the summit can be here
The specific wetland supplement can be found here
Part of my research is looking at seismic line disturbances on ecosystem functioning. Seismic lines are linear clearings cut across the boreal forest which can have big implications for vegetation communities, hydrological conditions and soil properties. I thought it would be a useful sci-comm tool to make a Lego stop motion of the creation of a seismic line:
2019 round up
Fieldwork in northern Alberta, Canada (2019)
Back over to Alberta for some fieldwork looking at seismic line restoration
Canadian Carbon Cycle Research Workshop 2019
I presented this infographic poster at the Canadian Carbon Cycle Research Workshop 2019 in Toronto, ON on what we think are the existing knowledge gaps in understanding the future of Canadian carbon cycle research;
AGU 2018 and EGU 2019
I was fortunate enough to present a poster at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in Washington DC 2018 and a oral presentation at the European Geosciences Union Annual Meeting 2019 on the impact of wildfire on methane emissions and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics at a continental boreal peatland.
Both papers are under review at the moment. I shall upload an image of the poster once they are published.
Presentation at EGU 2019
World Wetlands Day 2019
For World Wetlands Day 2019, I put together some tweets highlighting the importance of boreal peatlands: you can see them all here
Here is a snapshot:
Fieldwork in northern Alberta, Canada (2018)
I have had a fantastic 4 weeks (with one week to go) of fieldwork up in Northern Alberta near Peace River. I have managed to visit an awesome range of different peatlands, impacted by various disturbances (linear disturbances and wildfire for example).
One of the first tasks was to assist with UAV image collection at one of our linear disturbance sites. This was a scientific dream come true as I have wanted to work with UAVs for a long time. I really can’t wait to get a hold of the imagery but for now – here are some photos.
I then headed over to Conklin to collect soil samples across a range of seismic lines in order to establish an understanding of soil compaction across these features.
240 samples later, I headed up to Fort McMurray to collect yet more soil samples and vegetation data for an incubation experiment I am setting up in the Fall. This site was impacted by The Horse River wildfire in 2016. Part of my current research is looking at how this wildfire impacted methane emissions and dissolved organic carbon across a burn gradient. Some photos below (plus black bear pawprint).
In between all this, we have been collecting CO2 and CH4 flux data at a range of different natural and disturbed sites.
I also managed to squeeze a fleeting visit to the University of Calgary to pick up some RTK equipment.
This also allowed us to take the very scenic route home through the Banff and Jasper National Parks – the scenery was just stunning.
PhD Graduation – July 2018
After handing in over a year ago, it was finally time to head back to the University of Sheffield for my PhD graduation. It was a fantastic day and was lovely to catch up with my supervisors Dr. Donatella Zona, Prof. Gareth Phoenix and Prof. Dr. Maria J. Santos.
25th January 2018
Excited to announce I will be starting as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo, ON, Canada. I will be working with Dr. Maria Strack looking at impact of disturbance on restored and natural peatlands and subsequent impacts on carbon emissions and vegetation communities. I cannot wait to start my Canadian adventure!
22nd December 2017
Our article “Upscaling CH4 Fluxes Using High-Resolution Imagery in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems” was chosen as the cover article for the December (Vol 9, Issue 12) of Remote Sensing which is a lovely honour.
You can check out this paper (and the others in the issue here)
Similarly, this paper was part of a special issue: Remote Sensing of Arctic Tundra . You can check out the other papers here
PhD is done and dusted
2nd November 2017
I passed my PhD with minor corrections which was incredibly exciting. I haven’t been that nervous in a long time and I thought I might pass out during the first ten minutes. I had a really good discussion with my examiners Dr. Iain Hartley and Professor Colin Osbourne.
I thought I’d just add a picture of me on the day of submitting my thesis (11th August 2017)
Resourcefulness and resilience in the Arctic tundra
My research was highlighted here: Resourcefulness and resilience in the Arctic tundra
I’m a bit of a Lego fanatic so I thought it would be fun to make a diagram using Lego to illustrate what happens to arctic tundra ecosystems if they become wetter or drier
If anyone else has #legoyourscience – please let me know!
I hosted Biotweeps for a week (26th September – 2nd October 2016). I had a fantastic time showcasing all things tundra. You can check out my archive of tweets here
I would really encourage anyone out there to take part – it was a fantastic experience I learned a lot about using social media to engage in science outreach. You can sign up here
That week also unleashed the hashtag #fieldworkscares to the world. It became much bigger than I anticipated but it was enlightening (and rather scary) to see the various ways in which fieldwork can be quite nerve wracking. It was even featured on The Verge website.